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​Capella State School has a part time Chaplain which we share with Capella State High School. Chaplains, or Chappies as they are endearingly called, are uniquely placed to support children and young people as they navigate life’s increasingly complex issues.
They come from all walks of life, at all ages, with a heart to care for young people and to serve the community. They hold a minimum Diploma qualification in Youth Work or Pastoral care and have an open door policy, equipping and positioning them to provide support to those needing a listening ear and sound advice.
Chaplains provide social, emotional, practical and spiritual support in Australian schools. They work in prevention and support; helping students find a positive way to deal with issues ranging from relationship and social problems, family breakdown and loneliness to support through grief, natural disaster and personal tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of school children each year turn to their school chaplains for practical help, but also for the non-coercive spiritual element chaplains’ offer. Chaplains provide a listening ear and a caring presence for kids in crisis, and for those who just need someone to believe in them. They are also on-hand to provide support for staff and parents in school communities.
Who is the Capella State School Chaplain?
Our Chaplain, Nathan Cruz or Chappy Cruz, was born in the USA. In his own words: "I am one of five kids with a single Mum who worked hard to support us. As a kid I was active in school and joined many sports and art clubs. Some of the sports I did were basketball, soccer, baseball, football and wrestling. In art I loved drawing, and also did performaing arts like drama and dancing although I was good at drama and not so much dancing.
I also enjoyed other activities like skateboarding, horse riding and board games. I still love doing most of these things. I lived in Los Angeles, California for a while where I learned some cool things like graphic design and making movies.
I worked with a team doing street ministry using music and drama together to encourage young people to belive in themselves and rise to the challenges in life."
What does a School Chaplain do?
A School Chaplain is a safe person for young people to connect with at school and provides a listening ear, caring presence, and a message of hope.  Chaplains run positive, fun activities for students and assist in fostering supportive, caring school communities.
Working with other members of the school’s support team, the Chaplain cares for students struggling with issues such as difficult relationships with other children or family members, poor self-esteem, family breakdown, and depression.
The partnership between the school and the Chaplaincy Service, supported by local churches, businesses and community organisations, provides a network of local support and assistance.  These positive relationships help young people to face difficult issues, and provide hope, connection, meaning, and purpose.
The Chaplaincy Service is available to everyone in the school community regardless of their religious beliefs.
What will Chaplaincy look like at Capella State School?
Our Chaplain will assist with sporting and cultural programs, attend school camps, assist in classrooms, run programmes that help students develop social and life skills, and run a lunchtime interest club.  Students may request to see the Chaplain on an individual basis for support in personal matters. Parent consent, via the Principal, needs to be given for this to occur on a regular basis.
Will my child be involved?
Involvement with the Chaplain is entirely voluntary and students choose whether or not they want to be a part of the activities that are offered.  Parents will be consulted if their child wishes to be involved in ongoing one-to-one meetings with the Chaplain or in any programme or group involving spiritual or ethical content.  Parents have the right to refuse permission for their child to be involved in any Chaplaincy activity or event.